Five challenges brands face delivering excellent mobile sites:
- Winning round other stakeholders.
- Personalising your site to keep them coming back for more.
- Creating great UX and reducing bounce rates.
- Fusing mobile into complex, multi-screen customer journeys.
- Maximising conversion to sale.
Winning round stakeholders
Let’s kick off with the most important question: what do your customers want from your site?
Maybe it’s a combination of comparing prices, checking and sharing product reviews, booking tickets, reading free or paid content, locating their nearest store or redeeming a coupon. Or buying the product.
For retailers tracking the majority of site traffic on mobile, it’s clear that poor mobile UX loses existing customers, and deters prospective customers.
Personalising the site experience: ‘Customer first’
Many brands are proud to be ‘mobile first’, with a clear focus on developing mobile products such as sites and apps. But that’s really missing the point. We may share our tablets with others, but we never share our phones.
We should replace ‘mobile first’ with ‘customer first’. Think about the many ways you can personalize the site based on that unique user – previous browsing patterns and purchase history, upstream click path analysis, geo-location, daypart, and then make recommendations for other products which customers are most likely to purchase. Think Amazon …
Creating great UX
HTML5 has certainly helped, as, of course, have superior handsets and bigger screens. Consider the impact of iPhone 6 plus, Galaxy Note and other super size smartphones on mobile site browsing. Responsive Web Design has emerged as the default for most brands.
As a rule, the best mobile site experiences are quick, easy and painless. But that probably doesn’t mean quick and easy for dev teams.
The ‘customer first’ approach extends beyond what to display on the landing page, and feeds into the user experience and site development process.
Pre-testing each and every stage of the mobile site ensures you don’t waste valuable dev resource building sites which deliver poor UX.
Mobile’s role in complex customer journeys
Referring back to the first point, your site may satisfy user demands at complete every stage in the customer journey – checking out the company, browsing the product lines, checking reviews, demo videos, social presence, checkout – but that won’t be the case for every sector.
More often mobile is part of a more complex journey. Google estimates over 50% of online purchases take over 20 days to complete. Many will involve multiple screens.
Customers are more likely to browse on mobile and carry out research but want to save choices into a wish list, but complete on desktop or tablet – particularly when planning a holiday with others, including activities for the kids, car hire, insurance.There’s clear evidence customers are influenced by reviews and recommendations and act on them. Referral site Mention Me showed 20% of shoppers will refer great deals to friends, and 30% of them will purchase as a results. Looks like an immediate 6% increase in sales.
Whether you talk to Amazon, Barclays or most truthful analytics teams, you’ll hear the same story. Mobile site conversion sucks. Over 90% of mobile transactions fail.
Reviewing 20 retailer mobile sites in the past nine months, the checkout pages are almost always the weakest link on the journey. Why? I’d argue there are two main reasons.
- Either the check out process includes too many stages, which allows more likelihood of poor connectivity to curtail the process.
- And / or the on-screen navigation is not clear.
The last word
Clearly there’s a lot to consider here to deliver an exceptional mobile site experience. What’s the payback?
Those with optimised sites can expect the to see results in this order:
- +50% Transactions on mobile
- +33% Revenue from tablet traffic
- +20% Average order value (mobile & tablet)
- +135% Revenue from mobile traffic
- Make sure all other stakeholders know what proportion of traffic is mobile, and how you perform against competitors.
- Use internal and external feeds to personalise the site, driving repeat visits and positive referrals.
- Customer feedback informs the site UX, but also demand for products, promotions and pricing.
- Pre-testing each and every stage of the mobile site ensures you don’t waste valuable dev resource building sites which deliver poor UX.
- Keep the checkout process short and simple, provide clear navigation and hand holding.